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53 Caribbean Migrants Interdicted At Sea

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The United States Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier’s crew repatriated 53 migrants to the Dominican Republic on Friday following the interdiction of an overloaded makeshift vessel.

According to a Coast Guard release, the interdiction occurred in Mona Passage waters off the western coast of Puerto Rico.

Cutter Joseph Napier’s crew transferred the migrant group to a Dominican Republic Navy vessel just off Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

The Coast Guard said during a Wednesday night patrol, the aircrew of a Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine multirole enforcement aircraft detected a suspect vessel in Mona Passage waters just off Playa Buye in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.

Cutter Joseph Napier’s crew embarked the 53 migrants aboard the vessel.

They included 46 men, 36 claiming to be Dominican Republic nationals, and 10 others claiming to be Haitian.

Also embarked were seven women, four of whom claimed to be Dominican Republic nationals and three others claimed to be Haitian.

The Coast Guard said since October 1, 2023, through January 12, 2024, it has carried out 24 unlawful irregular migration voyage interdictions in the Mona Passage and waters near Puerto Rico.

During this period, Coast Guard crews interdicted 811 non-U.S. citizens, including 745 Dominican Republic nationals and 66 Haitians.

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